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Transit holds up major development

Glenfield Ratepayers & Residents Association

11 April 2006

Transit is also holding up a major development in North Shore City.

News of the Transit intervention in new developments is not news to Glenfield residents who have a daily reminder in the form of an essentially completed supermarket building which cannot open for business because of a Transit objection.

The Pak'n Save proposed supermarket in Wairau Road Glenfield was largely completed when Transit New Zealand challenged the resource consent for the building on the grounds that it would create extra traffic pressures at a motorway on-ramp almost a kilometre away.

Transit stepped in only after Australian-owned Progressive Enterprises had failed to prevent the opposition Pak 'n Save Supermarket from obtaining resource consent.

The supermarket had been approved by North Shore City Council Hearings Commissioners after an extensive process.

Local Glenfield residents believed that Progressive Enterprises - owner of Woolworths, Foodtown and Countdown - was acting to stop commercial competition which it was not allowed to do under the Resource Management Act.

The very late Transit challenge effectively stopped the competition of the building and the opening of the supermarket.

Local residents were outraged and a public meeting was called by this Association last year at which the opposing supermarket chains explained their positions.

Transit was invited to the meeting but declined to attend.

The residents had been looking forward to the additional choice being offered by an alternative supermarket in the community.

The supermarket had been approved by North Shore City Council Hearings Commissioners after an extensive process.

The new supermarket now stands empty until a High Court hearing in June.

Although a portion of the blame for this situation could be shared by all parties there is no doubt that the Transit intervention has been the key factor in delaying the opening of this new supermarket - a project which has` the overwhelming support of local residents as demonstrated at our public meeting last year.

The fact seems to be that Transit, a government-appointed body, can override the wishes of the local community and the approval of local elected councils.


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